Sweden news

Ibra not weighed down by pressure

Striker intent on attacking Ukraine in Euro 2012 opener

ESPN staff

Zlatan Ibrahimovic feels under pressure

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has insisted Sweden will set out their stall to attack co-hosts Ukraine in their Euro 2012 opener on Monday.

Preview - Sweden v Ukraine

Blog: From Cardiff to Kiev

The two countries have been forced to kick their heels over the weekend, as they are the last two teams to begin their campaigns. Despite being co-hosts with Poland, Ukraine are one of the outsiders for glory. With England and France to come in Group D, Ibrahimovic is aware of the need to start strongly against the perceived whipping boys.

He said: “We will be playing at 100% and want to go forward to score a few goals, but we will keep a strong defence as well.”

Ibrahimovic is the talisman for Sweden and he is relishing the prospect of having the weight of expectation on his shoulders.

“I feel under a lot of pressure right now and that is a situation I always like,” he said. “Wherever I have played, whether it is for Sweden, for Barcelona or for Milan, I have always felt a responsibility to deliver.

“It gives me something to play for and makes sure I never go out too relaxed. But at the same time people have to be realistic with their expectations. Don’t exaggerate what one person can do. I cannot go out and deliver everything in five minutes.”



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